CEPB Seminar: Reform without Transformation. The case of groundwater reform in California.

consumnes GSA

Event Date

Topic: Reform without Transformation. The case of groundwater reform in California.

Speaker: Linda Esteli Mendez Barrientos, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Davis

Current governance theory has not adequately addressed how power asymmetries and inequality
affect decision-making processes and the distribution of its outcomes. This talk presents a
transdisciplinary effort to bridge diverse power scholarship traditions into an integrated
framework for policy analysis. A case study on collaborative environmental governance is
analyzed, illustrating the framework’s applicability. Using the implementation of groundwater
governance reform in California, the talk presents empirical data collected through 250 hours of
participant observation and 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews with groundwater reform
participants. The presentation discusses the challenges of multi-stakeholder cooperation in
defining inclusive and representative arrangements, as well as the effectiveness of policy
processes in developing sustainable and equitable groundwater management institutions in
California.

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